"Wrestling with God" book with Barbara Falconer Newhall

Wrestling with God: Stories of Doubt and Faith

"Any seeker of any faith will be blessed to read the words of this fine author and observer."

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click to learn more about "Wrestling with God"

No to Bride Barbie — Yes to a Real-Life Wedding

At age 7, Christina preferred a tug of war to playing with her Bride Barbie. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Christina left her Bride Barbie at home to join a tug of war. Photo by Barbara Newhall

MY DAUGHTER CHRISTINA will be marrying in May. She’s a grown-up woman now, making plans to spend her days with a truly good man. People who knew Christina as a little kid might be surprised to hear that there will be an actual wedding, complete with the traditional white wedding gown, champagne, music, flowers, moonlight and a multi-tiered wedding cake.

As a girl Christina wasn’t much for dressing up — neither herself nor her Barbie Doll. Girly stuff bored my daughter. She preferred playing Nintendo with her big brother and his guy friends. Nonetheless, when May rolls around Christina will be letting loose with her inner romantic: friends, family and groom will be treated to a sweet, old-fashioned wedding and a — beautiful — bride.

Some things  haven’t changed, however. Christina still likes computer games. And so does her husband-to-be.

Here’s a story I once wrote about the seven-year-old Christina and [Read more…]


Autumn in the Garden, When Sensible Plants Pack It In for the Winter . . . And a Healing Ankle

Autumn in the garden where, like it or not, the seasons impose their wills on every living thing. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Autumn in the garden where, like it or not, the seasons impose their wills on every living thing. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I took these photos of my favorite up-north garden last October. It’s a genuine four-season garden in the upper Midwest, complete with winter snow, spring promise, and unsurpassed summer glory. It’s also got autumn, with all the grim stuff that happens as winter sets in — death, rot, shrivel and retreat.

But during a late afternoon visit last October there were still some signs of stubborn life — opulent red berries and a succulent with in-your-face magenta blossoms.

A Dying Garden and a Healing Ankle

I’m just now getting around to posting these autumn in the garden photos because the project fell by the wayside last November when Jon broke his [Read more…]


Christmas Is Big. Bigger Than Christianity — And Donald Trump

A cheery Santa Claus painted by Art Thou on a store window in Oakland, CA, 2016. Christmas is bigger than Christianity. Photo by Barbara Newhall

Christmas is big. And so is this cheery Santa Claus painted by a local artist on a holiday store window in our neighborhood. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Christmas is big — bigger than Christianity. And it’s getting bigger.

Our decades-old World Book Encyclopedia devotes four dutiful pages to Christianity — and nine luscious full-color spreads to Christmas. Copyrighted 1994, our family’s set of books sits on a shelf within reach of our dining room table. There, it was a handy reference in our pre-cell phone days whenever a dinner  [Read more…]


I Decided to Stop Bad-Mouthing Donald Trump. But Will I?

I'm going to stop bad-mouthing Donald Trump. Even though my world feels like this crashed car awaiting body work at a shop in San Francisco. Photo by Barbara Newhall

I’m going to stop bad-mouthing Donald Trump. Even though right now my world feels like this wreck of a car, which I spotted in San Francisco on election day. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Last Tuesday night, as poll results poured in and it became clearer and clearer who was going to be the next president of the United States, I made a decision. I decided to stop bad-mouthing Donald Trump. I would give him a chance. I’d keep an open mind.

I decided to do the same for his supporters. Millions of Americans have let the world know, loud and clear, that they think both Democrats and Republicans [Read more…]


Donald Trump Played Me. Here’s How

Donald Trump played me this election cycle. Photo shows the cover of Donald Trump book, "Think Big and Kick Ass."

Donald Trump played me this election cycle. He’s thinking bigger than ever.

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Donald Trump played me. He got exactly what he wanted from me this election season. And what he wanted, deep down, was not my vote. What he wanted was my attention. And he got it in the form of my glued-to-the-TV fascination with this 2016 version of the Creature from the Black Lagoon — Donald being [Read more…]